Risk factors for the development of paclitaxel-induced neuropathy in breast cancer patients

Jetter Robertson, Jeffrey Raizer, James S. Hodges, William Gradishar, Jeffrey A. Allen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Peripheral neuropathy is a common side effect of many chemotherapeutic agents including paclitaxel. We prospectively evaluated demographic and laboratory data in a cohort of 61 woman with breast cancer prior to paclitaxel exposure to explore factors that predispose to neuropathy development. Neuropathy was graded based on the total neuropathy score reduced version (rTNS) at baseline and at 4 months after initiation of chemotherapy. A multivariate analysis identified predictors with the strongest association with a change in rTNS. Serum albumin (P =.002), paclitaxel dose (P =.001), and body surface area (P =.006) were statistically significantly associated with a positive rTNS change (worsening neuropathy). These results suggest that poor nutritional status and obesity increase the risk of paclitaxel induced neuropathy, and that screening for these factors prior to chemotherapy exposure may improve early neuropathy detection or decrease risk with dietary modifications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129-133
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the Peripheral Nervous System
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to thank research coordinators Katherine Dunne and Bart Jacher for their participation in the project. This study was funded by the Evergreen Invitational Women's Health Initiative at Northwestern University. We thank all of the women who volunteered for this study and the Evergreen Invitational for their dedication to the advancement of women's health programs.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Peripheral Nerve Society


  • chemotherapy
  • neuropathy
  • nutrition
  • paxlitaxel
  • risk factors
  • toxic


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